Our life is full of milestones – crawling, taking your first steps, talking, and eventually driving.
One of the most exciting moments in your life is when you finally have the freedom to drive a car. But before you can take road trips to Banff, you’ll need to be a fully licensed driver. The Class 7 learner’s licence is the first step in getting your full driver’s license in Alberta.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the Class 7 license is and how it relates to getting your full driver’s license in Alberta. We will also go over everything you need to know about this probationary license so that you’re prepared for the long journey of getting your full license!
What is a Class 7 license in Alberta?
Alberta’s driver licensing follows a two-step graduated licensing system (GDL). All new drivers must follow the process of the GDL before they can become fully licensed drivers.
The Class 7 driver’s license is the first step in the GDL program. It is a learner’s license that allows people who are at least 14 years old to drive passenger vehicles with an accompanying driver.
After you’ve spent at least one year as a Class 7 driver, you’re eligible to take the next step in the GDL system – getting your class 5 license.
How do I get my Class 7 license in Alberta?
The process of getting a class 7 license in Alberta is not that difficult. Here are the steps involved with getting your Class 7 Alberta driver’s license:
- be at least 14 years of age
- have parental consent if under 18 years of age
- pass a vision and knowledge test
- driver education is recommended
The first step on the path to a full license is to get your Alberta Drivers Handbook. The class 7 handbook is used prominently for studying questions on the knowledge test, so make sure you review it a few times before taking your next steps. You should know the rules of the road, different traffic signs, and speed limits.
In preparation for taking the written knowledge test, it is recommended that you take one or more online Alberta class 7 practice tests. Practice quizzes are available free and can help assess your preparedness.
You can read the PDF driver’s guide here.
Write your learner’s knowledge test
The next step is to visit your local registry agent to take your written knowledge test. The knowledge test is designed to test basic knowledge of road rules, road safety, safe driving, and traffic signs. In this process, you will also need to take a vision test. You will also need to pay a fee of $17.60 to take the test, and you can only take one test per day!
Here are some things to note before you take the test:
- there are 30 questions on the test in a multiple-choice format;
- you need 25 correct answers to pass;
- the test is done on a computer;
- you have 60 minutes to complete the test.
Purchase your license card
If you successfully pass the knowledge test and vision test, you can purchase a Class 7 learner’s license card. You will be given a temporary license that is valid for 30 days or until your new license arrives in the mail. If it has been 21 business days since applying to get your first driver’s license and you haven’t received anything, contact your local registry agent within 60 days of applying. You might be charged for a replacement.
Class 7 license restrictions
As a probationary driver, you have certain restrictions while driving a vehicle:
- you can’t drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 am
- you can’t have more passengers than seat belts in your vehicle
- you can’t act as an accompanying driver
- zero blood alcohol tolerance
- you can’t upgrade to a commercial license
- you are allowed 8 demerit points before receiving a suspension (vs. 15 as a fully licensed driver)
Fines and suspensions
- If you’re caught driving while impaired: immediate 30-day license suspension and 7-day vehicle impound
- If you’re caught driving after midnight: 2 demerit points and a fine of up to $115
- If you’re caught violating passenger restrictions: 2 demerit points and a fine of $115
- If you’re caught violating the accompanying driver restriction: 2 demerit points and a fine of up to $220
If you’ve accumulated some demerit points, you can always take a government-approved defensive driving course to get a reduction of 3 demerit points.
Next Steps: Class 7 to Class 5 license
In order to qualify for your Class 5 license, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- spend one year as a Class 7 driver
- be at least 16 years old
- pass a vision test
- show proof of address in Alberta
- pass the basic road test
Getting your Class 5 driver’s licence comes in two stages: Class 5 GDL and Class 5 Non-GDL. Your Class 5 GDL is still a probationary license and you’ll need to complete an advanced road test before becoming a fully licensed driver.
How much does it cost to get a Class 7 license in Alberta?
It costs $17.60 to take the knowledge test, which is a one-time fee; the license itself will cost around $65 depending on the registry you visit. So, you can expect to spend a total of $85 to get your Class 7 license.
Can you insure a car with a Class 7 in Alberta?
In Alberta, it is possible to register a car with a learner’s class 7 license. However, you will be hard-pressed to find an insurance company willing to give insurance for your vehicle due to the high risks associated with drivers who have learners’ licenses.